People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Target Has Better Things To Do

First a few disclaimers:

I can't vouch for the authenticity of the person who sent out the following email nor am I able to verify his claims with regard to Target Stores' charitable donation policy. But because Target has proven itself in the past to be a corporation that defies the holiday spirit and would deny the most cherished of traditional American institutions - donations for the poor - I have no difficulty believing this to be true

Dick Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association writes:
Recently we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our spring recognition event. We received the following reply from the local TARGET management: "Veterans do not meet our area of giving. We only donate to the arts, social action groups, gay &lesbian causes, and education." So I'm thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and veterans in general do not meet their donation criteria, then something is really wrong at this TARGET store. We were not asking for thousands of dollars, not even hundreds, just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance.

As a follow-up, I e-mailed the TARGET U.S. corporate headquarters and their response was the same. That's their national policy. Then I looked into the company further. They will not allow the Marines to collect for Toys for Tots at any of their stores. And during the recent Iraq deployment, they would not allow families of employees who were called up for active duty to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service.

Then as I dig further, TARGET is a French-owned corporation.
As to that last point, I think I read somewhere that Target is, in fact, an American company. Which makes all this that much worse.

I am now into my second year of boycotting Target, after the corporate leadership decided Salvation Army bellringers couldn't stand outside their stores in the cold and collect donations for the poor. I intend to continue my boycott until they relent.

In any case, what's up with these people?

On Iraqi Voter Turnout

Remember how the Democrats whined about the presidential election process in Ohio having broken down (and thus having thrown the election to George W Bush somehow) in part because lines were long in certain precincts? Here's a photo.

Oh, wait. No, this is a picture taken of Iraqi voters in Barwana waiting in line for hours to get their chance to vote. And not a complaint among 'em. And no Democrats either.

Liberty and democracy win again.

Photo courtesy of the United States Marine Corps

Ban Jesus. Real Smart.

I received an email the other night from one of the fellas over at Sic Semper Tyrannis regarding a fight the Richmond Times-Dispatch decided to pick with Jesus. "Lighthorse Harry" at SST had received the following letter via email:

Dear Friends,

Thought you might be interested in this. I am a pastor of a small Evangelical Christian church located in a suburb of Richmond Va. Our church is looking to hire someone as an accompanist, Yesterday, Dec. 5, 2005, I tried to place a help-wanted advertisement in the large Richmond daily newspaper "The Richmond Times Dispatch". I had my secretary send them the copy for the ad which read as follows: "Vibrant growing Jesus-loving congregation looking to hire a talented pianist/organist for Sunday morning worship services and evening choir practices. Pray about it, then send your resume to...(our address) "

We received a call back form the paper saying they would not run the advertisement unless we dropped the words "Jesus- loving" and "Pray about it". I asked to speak to a supervisor who confirmed that this was, in fact, their position, so I asked her to send me a letter stating their objections and why these phrases were being rejected. She told me that she would have to check with the company attorney about that but she would get back with me later in the day. A couple of hours later she called back and told me that she had spoken with the Media General attorney, (the Times-Dispatch is owned by Media General, a large media conglomerate based here in Richmond), and he had advised them to tell me that they would not run our ad if we used the words "Jesus- loving" or "pray about it" in the text. He also advised them not to send me a letter or put any of this in writing. (I guess they fear a law suit?)

What blows my mind is this: This paper prints so-called "personal" ads where people can openly advertise that they are looking for homosexual sex or adulterous relationships. They print display ads in the sports section every day for the local strip clubs..but according to them I can't describe our church as "Jesus-loving." That just doesn't make much sense to me! Isn't that sort of the definition of a Christian church? We love Jesus. Anyway I'm not quite sure what my next step is. I'm praying about how to address this obvious discrimination in a way that brings glory to Christ and leads people to faith in Him. Please pray about how this might be used for the Kingdom in a positive way. You are welcome to forward this to anyone you think might be interested.


David A. Crisp
Sr. Pastor, Hanover Evangelical Friends Church
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Sic Semper Tyrannis posted the letter here.

My first reaction, when I read the letter, was one of astonishment. Then rage.

But the blessed angel that struggles to remain perched upon my shoulder admonished me and said "This may be bogus. You don't want to touch it."

A flurry of related emails came in from Old Dominion Blog Alliance members as word spread and a degree of factual legitimacy was given to the story - along with the news that a good deal of backpedaling and a change of heart was going on at the Times-Dispatch.

Jimmy Barrett, of Richmond's Morning News with Jimmy Barrett fame (a talk show host I enjoy listening to when I'm wandering over that way), as it turns out, had already reported the story and has this follow-up:


Monday morning I told you about Pastor David Crisp and his battle with the Richmond Times-Dispatch over a classified ad he wanted to place. Here's the ad ... [see above] ... Seems fine, doesn't it? Not so fast! He received a call back from the papers saying they could not run the ad unless Jesus-loving and pray about it were removed. Seems the Media General attorney advised the paper that the ad might be discriminatory! [my emphasis] What seemed to blow Pastor Crisp's mind is that the paper could run ads for strip clubs and personal ads but couldn't run his ad. It's a church organist job for goodness sake, not a secretary! Pastor Crisp told us that his email has circulated all around the world and before you knew it people were threatening to cancel their subscription to the TD. Pastor Crisp told us Monday morning that the TD has since had a change of heart and the ad is running as originally worded. Let's give them credit for ignoring the corporate attorney and using a little common sense for a change! (link is good at this moment)

My experience with lawyers extends - for the most part - to interaction with the kind of corporate attorneys I expect the Times-Dispatch employs. The kind who take their jobs seriously and would, if they had their way, keep the companies to which they answer in a legal cocoon, protected from any and all manner of lawsuits. Those companies might shut down but, by God, they would be insulated from damaging lawsuits right up to the moment the last employee exits the building. Lawyers are not paid to help the client turn a profit - directly anyway - or to make corporate decisions. They're paid to offer legal advice and to protect the company from harm.

I don't - and Jimmy Barrett shouldn't - accept as an excuse the "our attorney made us do it" defense. The people who decided to accept the advice from their legal team that Jesus should not be mentioned in this classified ad are to blame. Totally. It's the leadership at the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Media General who one begins to wonder about. Where in the sweet name of Christ were they when this decision was made?

If they are anti-Christian in their personal beliefs, that's one thing. But how did they think this was going to play in the marketplace when it became public knowledge? In conservative and overwhelmingly Christian Virginia of all places. Where Jesus still makes the headline news every Sunday.

No, I don't buy it for one minute. Everyone connected with the decision to ban Jesus from the classifieds at the Times-Dispatch should seriously reconsider their place in our community, and should also give some thought to making way for some fresh blood and brighter minds.

This Is Disturbing

Let's see. Should I flip burgers at McDonald's or fly commercial jets with Jerry Fuhrman occasionally on board for a living?

This news regarding airline pilot pay is not giving me the warm and fuzzies:
Mesaba pilots to picket Monday
Protests at Detroit and other Northwest hubs the result of demands for wage and benefit cuts
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Pilots for one of Northwest Airlines' regional feeder carriers planned to picket Monday at several airports.

Pilots at bankrupt Mesaba Airlines said they will protest the demands for wage and benefit cuts the carrier is making in bankruptcy court.

The union said Mesaba is trying to cut first-year pilot pay from $21,186 to $17,626. (link)

Can that be right? A Northwest (subsidiary) pilot makes 21 thousand a year? And I'm occasionally in the back seat? Let me off. Now.

I want a career man or woman doing my driving, not some temporary hire who is only piloting my plane until he can get on at Wal-Mart.

Like I Said ...

I cited an article yesterday regarding a scientific discovery that pinpoints the human gene that determines skin color. I voiced my opinion that, if doctors in the future could manipulate that gene such that all babies born have the same identical skin color, this could be great news in the never-ending race wars here in the USA. If we're all the same color, we can't bicker over skin tone and related racial prejudices.

A few of you were not kind in your email responses (I called the interminable racism argument silliness - and meant it).

Well, lo and behold, Morgan Freeman - of The Shawshank Redemption, Glory, Driving Miss Daisy, and Unforgiven fame - agrees, telling CBS' "60 Minutes" (with a sort of in-your-face let's-move-on I'm-tired-of-dealing-with-this-crap ebullience):
You're going to relegate my history to a month? I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."
He went on to tell the interviewer the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says. (
Two men of a mind. One a tad darker than the other.

Arm Yourself

It frightens me sometimes to think of the people we entrust our government - our existence - to.

The most startling revelation to come out of the 9/11 Commission report - the only bit of new information really - was that, while al Qaeda was carrying out plots to kill Americans in the Clinton years, our leaders were most concerned about the CIA sharing information with the FBI. Remember "the wall"?

And 3,000 innocent people died in the World Trade Center attack.

Today, al Qaeda is plotting to kill many more Americans and the United States senate kills the anti-terrorism legislation that passed to prevent another attack. Somebody show them the door, please.
Senators Thwart Bush Bid to Renew Law on Terrorism
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Eric Lichtblau, New York Times

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - The Senate on Friday blocked reauthorization of the broad antiterrorism bill known as the USA Patriot Act, pushing Congress into a game of brinksmanship with President Bush, who has said the nation will be left vulnerable to attack if the measure is not quickly renewed.

With many Democrats and some Republicans saying the bill does not go far enough in protecting civil liberties, the Republican leadership fell short of the 60 votes required to break a filibuster. Now the future of the law, which greatly expanded the government's surveillance and investigative powers in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is in doubt. (link)

We're on our own, folks. Pull out the artillery. Fill the magazine. Set the safety. Stand guard. We will get no help from this bunch.